Title Issues

Access easement found even though not noted on certificate of title to registered land

Massachusetts courts have several times ruled that access easements may be recognized even though language creating an express easement may be missing or ambiguous in the deeds to the servient estate. Hickey v. Pathways Ass'n, 37 N.E.3d 1003 (Mass. 2015) (access easement recognized over registered land even though it is not in the...

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Forged deed is void

Affirming a longstanding rule of law, the Massachusetts Land Court ruled that a forged deed has no effect. McNeff v. Cerretani, 2018 WL 4370147 (Mass. Land Ct. 2018).

City has no sovereign immunity from suit by its tenants when it leases land in a "proprietary capacity"

Although cities enjoy sovereign immunity from suit when they act in a sovereign capacity, they can be sued by tenants of land they have leased when they act in a “proprietary” capacity. Wasson Interests, Ltd. V. City of Jacksonville, 2018 Tex. LEXIS 999 (Tex. 2018). Cities act in a governmental capacity (and are immune from suit) when...

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Adverse possessor must identify and provide evidence of the boundaries of the land that is being adversely possessed

An owner cannot claim part of the neighbor’s land by adverse possession without clear evidence of where the border is. In Coscina v. DiPetrillo, 186 A.3d 590 (R.I. 2018), the adverse possessor claimed occupation of parts of her neighbor’s land but court documents repeatedly changed the location of the claimed line between the properties. Not only must the adverse possessor establish where the line is that encompasses the property acquired by adverse possession but must show sufficient evidence to... Read more about Adverse possessor must identify and provide evidence of the boundaries of the land that is being adversely possessed

Possibility of reverter or right of entry cut off after 30 years

Massachusetts law sets a thirty year limit to possibilities of reverter following a fee simple determinable or rights of entry following a free simple subject to condition subsequent. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 184A, §7. This contrasts with the 90 year limit for executory interests. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 190B, § 2-901. The 30 year limitation was recently applied in ... Read more about Possibility of reverter or right of entry cut off after 30 years

Quitclaim deed does not negate good faith for purpose of adverse possession if the occupying parties did not actually know they were on land owned by another

Georgia is one of the few states that requires "good faith" in order to acquire property by adverse possession. That means that one cannot acquire property by adverse possession if one is knowingly occupying property of another. In McBee v. Aspire at Midtown Apts., L.P. 807 S.E.2d 455 (Ga. 2017), the question arose whether an owner was precluded from asserting...

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Option to purchase property valid if exercised within the USRAP 30 year period

The Massachusetts Land Court has held that a commercial option to purchase property may be exercised nine years after the right to exercise the option ripened (because of failure to fulfill a condition by a set date). Pinewood Road, Inc. v. Kuntz, 2017 WL 361172 (Mass. Land Ct. 2017). The court noted the traditional rule that an option to purchase real property "that does not supply a time limit for it exercise must be...

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